How psychedelic[s] could help treat addiction
“For those of us who work in addiction, our existing treatments are not impressive, they’re disappointing, and at a minimum, why not give this a try?” said Peter Hendricks, an addictions psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He’s in the middle of running a double blind clinical trial treating cocaine users with therapy coupled with psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, or a placebo drug.“
It’s hard to know whether the tea is directly responsible for the success rate at Caminho da Luz, because it offers a mix of traditional and alternative approaches to… treatment. Patients follow a strict code of conduct that includes scheduled chores, meals and baths. Those with a greater risk of relapse are transferred to a rural camp, to recover away from the temptations of the city. We know that religions have a positive impact on drug addiction, independent of ayahuasca. So we need more clarity. We have indirect evidence that is very promising, but needs to be researched,” said Luís Fernando Tófoli, a psychiatrist researching Ayahuasca at Brazil’s University of Campinas. Critics also say that while the hallucinations may help some patients process their past, they can be a set back under the wrong conditions. “Re-living an experience is a critical part of healing it, but you want to make sure there is a good setting, a sense of safety…. If not it can just be re-traumatizing,” said Richard Furr, a psychologist who treats patients recovering from bad Ayahuasca trips.